Exclusive Interview With Tinsletown’s Cutest
Children’s Clothing Fashion Designer
Liliya Dilanyan from Isabella Couture.
| LA Fashion Judge
Article by Maurice D Smith;
Maurice S: Hello Liliya Dilanyan! It is a pleasure to wish you more successes like the ones that you experienced with your children’s clothing line, Isabella Couture at the Art Hearts Fashion during LA Fashion Week. Are there any other fashion shows on your agenda in the near future Liliya?
Liliya D: Yes. There are a few actually. New York, Paris, London, Milan and of course I have a couple of my own that I am hoping to put together in the near future.
Maurice S: You are a member of a family that has owned a bridal boutique company for 35 years right? Your mother Laura, as the seamstress and sewer with you as the designer when you were old enough to do the job, is that correct? Or is it that while you were pursuing acting and modeling and working as an executive for InRage Entertainment, you were being groomed to start your own clothing line?
Liliya D: My family has been in the business for over 35 years making beautiful bridal gowns, evening gown and ready to wear. Isabella Couture launched just a little over 3 years ago when my daughter had been asked to be a flower girl in a wedding we didn’t find anything we were looking for so we decided to make a gown for her and then Isabella Couture was created.
Maurice S: What types of training did your mother and/or institution provide you with? Which institutions?
Liliya D: I was always around them when they were working and I found it so interesting and fun. When I was about 8 years old I started sewing clothes for my dolls, like little mini skirt and tops. I remember I was always making different outfits for my dolls so I had lots of clothes to play with. Soon after i started sewing for myself again making skirts and tops.
Maurice S: Does working in fashion serve as a vehicle through which to empower other women or children?
Liliya D: I would have to say if you love something go for it. Make it a dream, make it a goal and turn it into reality. My challenges are what make my life interesting. Even as a child you realize what you love and you have a little spark in you that grows as you get older.
Maurice S: Is there a reason other than love of children that you specialize in children’s clothing line?
Liliya D: Children make everything look better (Liliya laughs). And as a mother we love to spoil our children. We want to dress them up in beautiful clothes. The children market is the fastest growing category in apparel. Parents are addicted and they can’t stop and you can’t really blame them.
Maurice S: What is Bespoke children’s wear? Is it different in texture or is it the way it’s made? Is the training to work with Bespoke children’s wear very technical and tedious?
Liliya D: A bespoke is English equivalent of couture. It means that each gown is designed and hand made for a specific client based on the clients measurements. It is one of a kind and made from high quality materials with the highest standard of workmanship -the same as a couture dress.
Maurice S: Is your usage of lace and leather, chiffon, crystals, and other materials unique in children’s wear?
Liliya D: Yes it is, it is unique and different because we sometime use our own in house fabric.
Maurice S: I tend to get a recurring theme among your fellow peers including designers “My work is my way of telling my story”. Do your designs tell a story? If so what is the story? Is it your story or somebody else’s and why is it so imperative that it be known? If there is a story being told are there certain dynamics which makes telling it more conducive with the anticipated reception?
Liliya D: It tells my story. I feel as if my company helps make wishes and dreams come true. My daughter had a huge part in the making of my company. She always wanted to play dress up in beautiful gowns and act as if she was the queen. This is what I want to see in children. I want to see happiness, love, attitude. I want them be inspired most of all I want them to have fun.
Maurice S: Why is your clothing line called “ Isabella Couture”? Is it named after someone special in your life?
Liliya D: Yes it is. It is named after my daughter Aida Isabella. Because I wanted to create a future for her with her name on it.
Maurice S: Were you aware that US Magazine’s March 12th edition, was about 50 cents and his son’s $700, 000 contract to Kidz Safe, Daphne Joy and Isabella Couture?
Liliya D: Not until I had seen it.
Maurice: What was it like to work with 50 cent’s son Sire and Daphne Joy during LA Fashion Week?
Liliya D: OMG! It was an absolute a pleasure. Daphne Joy is the most sweetest person ever! She is so down to earth and loving and her son Sire is the most handsome little boy ever. Too bad he got a little frighten when he walked out on stage but he still stole the show.
Maurice S: How many languages do you speak and where were you born?
Liliya D: I speak three languages. English, Russian and Armenian. I was born in Yerevan, Armenia.
Maurice S: Do you have siblings?
Liliya D: Yes, I have two sisters. And I’m the oldest of the two.
Maurice S: Do you want your daughter to follow in your footsteps in modeling or acting?
Liliya D: My daughter Aida enjoys modeling more than acting. She has done some modeling runway. She walked for LA Fashion Week for the past two years and did some print work. If this is something she loves to do then I will support her all the way. But I don’t think this is where her heart is at least not now. She’s more of a crafty person, just like her mother. Aida loves to draw, she enjoys DIY’s, she loves designing. She started to make clothes for her little dolls and enjoys helping me around the studio. So hopefully this is something she can take over in the future. We have to teach them young.
Maurice S: Who are some of your favorite designers? How was it working with Erik Rosete and The Whitaker sisters during LA Fashion Week?
Liliya D: I have a few favorites, actually there’s a lot Giambattista Valli, Zuhair Murad, Elie Saab, Zac Posen, just to name a few. Working with the girls and Erik Rosete was absolutely amazing. The girls made everything so easy for me being my first show and all. I was impressed with the quality and attention given to med during my times with LA Fashion Week.
Maurice S: Was your experience with Art Hearts Fashion Week everything that you had hoped and wished for and if there was anything lacking what was it? Have you learned as a person and a designer from that experience and if so how?
Liliya D: It was my very first fashion show. I am beyond grateful and happy that it was as successful as it was. I have learned to appreciate everything that comes your way. I’m a go getter. If I see it, I want it. Life is full of surprises and we are here to make it happen. I wanted to do this fashion show but I was scared. I had no idea what’s going to happen and if I can really do this. One of my friends told me that you can do this and it took only one thought and I said to my self, yes I can do this! I put together this fashion show in less than a month with sleepless nights, and we have showcased 30 outfits and were published in LA Times and few other articles. All thanks to my team and Art Hearts Fashion for giving me this amazing experience.
Maurice S: Where did you grow up and have you ever been to Armenia?
Liliya D: Well I grew up in Armenia and I visit there whenever I get the chance. Usually during summer when my daughter is on school vacation I try to visit twice a year.
Maurice S: What types of music do you prefer to listen to and which types of music turns you off?
Liliya D: I enjoy all types of music especially the 80’s. I’m on oldie so, I also enjoy Russian and Armenian music, I not really a big fan of hip hop or rap.
Maurice S: Are you ever going to start an urban street wear line for little boys or girls or adults?
Liliya D: Probably not. I want to be able to concentrate on creating beautiful pieces with Isabella Couture.
Maurice: Do you like sports? What’s your favorite sport?
Liliya D: I used to play volleyball in High School and still enjoy it from time to time. Tennis is another favorite sport of mine.
Maurice: Is it difficult to “manage” children in your line of work?
Liliya D: Not really, it is actually a pleasure working with them.
Maurice: Does your family support you in every endeavor that you pursue? Ever thought of parachute jumping, marathon running, iron lady training, or bungee jumping?
Liliya D: Yes they do. My family is always there for me when I need them. It has always been something that I have been wanting to do but I would probably not. I’m just so scared of heights.
Maurice: Liliya as a model you are a rather stunning vision. Have you retired from print work? Are you ever planning to act and model?
Liliya D: No, I just did some modeling and print work and then turned it just for fun. I don’t think that was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. At least that’s not where my heart was. But I did enjoy the makeup. I was a makeup artist for over 5 years and I worked on models and fashion shows, photo shoots. But I guess work made it difficult for me and I got tired.
Photo Credits // Ken Alcazar Photographer; John Malan Photography; Troy Tackett Photography;
Ray Pro Photography; Vincent Chavez